Diversity in Governance campaign to tackle under representation on college boards

10 Jun 2020

Over the last few months the Association of Colleges have been putting together a national campaign to promote diversity on boards of college governors. Recent governance surveys conducted by AoC indicated that governance recruitment remains a significant challenge for the sector. With 32% of respondents holding this view. 


We believe college boards across the country should be striving to the diversity of membership that reflects their student population and the communities they serve. The campaign is about encouraging individuals from all walks of life to consider entering the world of governance and highlight the value they can bring to the role. 


Against a backdrop of some of the most diverse student bodies within education, 62% of governors are men and almost three quarters of all governors are 50 and over. Achieving diversity of board membership is not a quick or easy activity and the campaign will support clerks and current boards members in making progress towards better representation of a range of voices in their decision-making processes.
As a starting point AoC will be sharing diverse recruitment best practice, insightful blogs in Tes and campaign resources to raise awareness of the issues to begin the conservations about diversity in governance in FE

Deputy Chief Executive and Equality and Diversity Group chair, Kirsti Lord said: 

“Further education colleges transform lives, they have the ability to make great change to and for the people that need them most. That’s why this campaign is so important. For students from all backgrounds and circumstances to have the best educational experience and chance at success our boards need a broader range of voices contributing to the decisions that impact thousands of lives.


"We want to reach communities that may not have ever considered being a governor before, and work towards a shift in culture where everyone feels welcome and respected - this is important in both attracting new governors and retaining existing members.  


“I want this to spark conversation, for the sector to pause and think about how a breadth of ideas and perspectives could contribute to their governing bodies. If we all get behind this we can drive a better, more impactful and responsive further education system.”